Advice on introducing my niece to her bio mom?

I have been raising my niece as my own for the last year and a half. She was abandoned by her addict mother and still has attachment issues stemming from it. My SIL is now back on methadone and would like to have a visit. She has had no contact with my niece since her removal. My niece has also asked to call us mom and dad. She’s five and loves calling her cousins her sisters. We have been completely honest about her birth mom (in kid-friendly terms), and we are hoping to do what’s best for her — wondering if any moms have experienced reintroducing a child to an addicted parent? Also, to add, my niece does remember when she was removed and will have a massive meltdown if she thinks I’ve left her for a moment. She will hyperventilate if I even take the garbage outside without her. So she will not be left alone for even a second. And we have spoken to my niece, and she does want to see her. Any advice or dos or don’t from personal experience?

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My only concern is if she is still on drugs it might harm her more but you are comfortable with it maybe a play date at the park with a picnic

I personally think the best thing you could do is not reintroduce at this time… It’s just a matter of time before she moves on from the methadone.

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Take it slow.
Don’t over whelm her. Put some boundaries in place. If your niece wants to at any time stop the visit then stop the visit. Don’t force her to hug her bio mom. Let her know she can have personal boundaries. She doesn’t have to hug or kiss or even say I love you if she doesn’t want too. ( so Important giving a child room to say no. You don’t want to invalidate her feelings. )

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If your niece doesn’t want to see her don’t force it

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If she doesn’t want to see her, why force her thru it.

If yall have custody I would not! Methadone is not sober! She cant be sober she cant see her!!

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If she’s currently using then a visit should be completely out of the question.

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Slow and steady. Supervised of course, when treatment is COMPLETED.

I wouldn’t until the bio mom has been sober for at least a year, and is able to have her own healthy place to live, stable job.

If bio mom was that serious about wanting a relationship. Because in the end, she’ll walk into her life, then use again and repeat until irreparable damage has set in.

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Good discussion about managing adult expectations. Set time limit and don’t push the child, let her show the adults what she is comfortable with. Don’t take anything personally.

Set up supervised visitation through DSS if the child is ok with this.

Talk to her therapist. If she doesn’t have one she needs to have one

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If the state took the child and put her in your care she has to go to court to be allowed to see her child or you could lose custody

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Yeah I hate to say it but I have a neighbor that goes to the methadone clinic and after she gets home she goes down the street to the drug dealer I would tell her I want you to have a drug test first and if you’re clean then we will have a supervised visit but you must pass the drug test first

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If she wants to see her, I wouldn’t stand in the way. It may be 10 or 15yrs but in the end, she will blame you at some point. Id keep all visits supervised by you or your husband, someone she explicitly trusts. If mom doesn’t like it, then she can take you to court. Any judge would order the same as you would be doing. She doesn’t deserve to just get her back, but a relationship on your terms until she earns back trust is good for your daughter.

I wouldn’t until she is of of methadone as well. Also, I don’t think your daughter sounds ready for this. Wanting to see her and being ready aren’t the same. If you do decide to do this, it needs to be in a neutral place, like a counselor’s office. In fact, I would get a counselor’s opinion on the whole thing first.

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Just play it by ear see how the first visit goes methadone is still dope as far as I’m concerned I’ve seen people on it and from past experiences it’s not gonna last so when things start to go sideways puller and end the visitation you’ll know your mom instincts will kick in.

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If
You have court ordered custody then you need to keep it all through the courts. You don’t want to jeopardize losing her

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I would maybe have her come to your house, that way your niece is in a comfortable environment that she’s familiar with. And I would also start slow. I wouldn’t let her mom try rushing into a parental relationship, maybe try being her friend first and then slowly work the relationship up from there.

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